#24 THE LAST STAND (3 OF 4)
Publisher: Devil's Due
Issue Date: November 2003
Series: G.I. Joe the Real American Hero, Volume 2
Issue Number: 24
All sides are preparing for a major encounter on Cobra Island. The Coil has attacked major cities all over the world. The President has authorized a Joe invasion of Cobra Island. Cobra Commander and the captured Joes get loose in the Cobra Command center.
Tim Seeley Fold Out Alternate Cover
Notes of Interest
Saw Viper's (Overkill) Return.
Doc and Crankcase are pictured in a one frame flashback.
All Joes are recalled to active duty.
All of the Serpentor kid clones are named.
Joes - Alpine, Beach Head, Char-Broil, Cover Girl, Duke, Firewall, Hawk, Jinx, Kamakura, Lady Jaye, Lifeline, Low Light, Mainframe, Mercer, Outback, Repeater, Roadblock, Rock 'n' Roll, Scarlett, Spirit, Snake-Eyes, Zap
Cobra - Baroness, Big Boa, Cobra Commander, Copperhead, Destro, Dr. Mindbender, Firefly, Major Bludd, Metal Head, Overlord, Overkill, Scalpel, Serpentor, Tomax, Xamot, Zartan, Zaranna, Zandar
Dreadnoks - Heartwrencher, Gnawgahyde, Zanzibar
Additional characters - General Gibbs, Hannibal, The Serpentor Clone Kids: Julius, Alexander, Genghis, Ivan, Attila, Vlad, Phillip, Napoleon, and Thomas
Story: Josh Blaylock with Brandon Jerwa,
Pencils: Tim Seeley,
Inks: Andrew Pepoy,
Colors: Brett R Smith of Color Fusion,
Letters: Dreamer Designs,
Graphic Design: Mike Norton,
Miltary Consultation: Tilman Goins
Cover A: Artist: Brandon Badeaux, Inks by Andrew Pepoy and Brett Smith,
Cover B: Tim Seeley
Over Los Angeles, a G.I. Joe Locust spots three modified Cobra Rattlers flying in. It looks like the Rattlers are on a bombing run, but the ordnance they drop is no bomb - it's Serpentor's new electro-magnetic pulse (EMP) weapon. All electrical power fails, including the Locust's systems, and it crashes into the ground. Los Angeles is offline.
On Cobra Island, Serpentor receives his first report from Overlord in the field. His units - shielded from the effects of the pulse - have taken over Los Angeles Air Force Base, as well as prisons at Lompoc and Terminal Island - to find recruits.
Zandar reports to Serpentor that Firefly's team has hit New York, and London and Moscow will soon follow. Serpentor thanks Zandar yet again for his support, especially in capturing Cobra Commander, who at that very moment is being thrown into a cell with the Joes.
The guards, however, get a little overzealous in their handling of the Commander, and attempt to remove his helmet, setting off its security features, electrocuting them. The Commander tells the Joes about Serpentor's army, and they force him to help lead them off the island.
Serpentor continues his chat with Zandar, telling him that he will be rewarded for his loyalty - unlike his former commanders, Cobra Commander and Zartan, Serpentor will reward him with power.
More guards then approach the pair, with a man in shackles between them. It took 10 men to bring him in; Serpentor want to offer him employment. The man says he doesn't want to join Cobra again, but Serpentor assures him it isn't Cobra - and that this time, he could have an identity of his own, and real power, instead of being a nameless minion. Zandar finally asks to be filled in, and Serpentor tells him this man is the most infamous of Cobras - as a Saw-Viper, he killed more Joes than any other Cobra agent - ever. He says he's in - and takes the name Overkill.
Mindbender then arrives, with the nine small children and Hannibal, the older boy. Serpentor explains how great a gift they've been given, how they share a common instinct and collective experience. Together, their minds can function for the greater good of all of them. He wants each of them assigned a battle station, and when an underling protests because of their age, Serpentor strikes him down, saying they will be obeyed as if they speak with his own voice - because they do.
Meanwhile the Joes and Cobra Commander make their way out of the dungeons, with Coil troopers in pursuit. The going is slow, as Cover Girl is injured, but they escape up a stair case leaving their pursuers behind - not before the Coil tosses a grenade, though. Snake-Eyes pushes Cobra Commander out of the way, taking the brunt of the blast...
The Commander, a piece of shrapnel embedded in his hand, attempts to escape on his own. He's followed by Firewall, but she can't catch him before he finds a radio and sends a distress call to Destro. She in turn uses the radio to contact the Joes, but he overpowers her, destroying the radio. Spirit arrives to confront the Commander, but he escapes by tossing Firewall toward a power shaft, forcing Spirit to save her. He leads her back to the others where she sees just how much of a hit Snake-Eyes took saving the Commander. He's battered, bloodied and unconscious, and the look on Lifeline's face tells her it doesn't look good.
At the Pit, having received part of Firewall's message, Hawk and Duke argue with the Jugglers, insisting the Joes must mount an invasion of Cobra Island. The Jugglers want to wait and form a unified armed forces attack, but further Coil invasions of Tokyo and Berlin force the hand - the Joes are given the go-ahead.
Elsewhere, at a MARS testing airfield, Destro rallies Cobra for the rescue of their Commander. He manages to enlist Zartan and the Dreadnoks, by reminding Zartan that Serpentor has a long memory for revenge - and he's certainly going to come looking for the man who put an arrow in his skull. Transports are sent out, and the invasion force is prepared. Destro addresses his troops, including the new army of genetically-engineered Neo-Vipers, telling them not to fire on any G.I. Joe agents, that their only goal is the rescue of the Commander and the humiliation of Serpentor's forces. It's time, he says, to take Cobra Island back.
At the Pit, Hawk also addresses his troops. He apologizes for not taking action sooner, and says he won't show or name the enemy, because they only people that matter are their teammates, and it's time to go and get them out.
On the Island, Overlord informs Serpentor about the radio signals sent out, inferring that two invasion forces are likely on their way. Serpentor isn't worried in the least. Let them come and fight, he says, and pay with their lives. He addresses his troops, commanding them to take their posts and prepare for the coming storm, and punctuates it by yelling, "This I Command!"
Summary by Josh Kern
Short Summary, Notes of Interest, and Major Players by Josh Eggebeen